On June 1st Raymond Zack decided to drown himself in the San Francisco Bay. The story is made even more tragic by the fact that police and firefighters, those who have sworn an oath to protect and serve, sat idly by, watching him drown, later claiming that they could not act because their budget had been cut. A civilian passerby was the only person to take any action, pulling his body from the surf after it was too late.
Here is a video from Cenk of the Young Turks about the story:
The most agregious part, however, of this situation is the responders’ placing of blame on budget cuts and policy for their inaction: “Fire officials said the department’s water rescue program disappeared with its funding in 2009. And an overtime cutback prevented firefighters from logging sufficient training hours for water rescues.” When the decision is between saving a life and adhering to policy, the “right” choice is apparently now the latter instead of the former. This reinforces the 2005 SCOTUS ruling that police have no obligation to protect anyone — not even those under protective custody services.
I think an eyewitness sad it best when she stated, “It’s like you are living in a different country that does not care about its citizens.”